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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

A look back to 2012: Sports year in review

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The year 2012 will certainly be one to remember. There were a number of ups and downs in the sports world and I think now is a good time to take a look back on some of the high points of the 2012 calendar year in local sports.

In early January, Hume High School Class of 2012 graduate Makena Thompson eclipsed to 1,000 career points plateau. It was a bittersweet accomplishment at the time as Thompson scored her 1,000th career point in a 47-46 road loss to Drexel. She scored 27 of Hume's 46 points on the night and went on to finish the season as the team's leading scorer.

Just 11 days later, on Jan. 17, Northeast Vernon County High School's Jacob Bell had an identically bittersweet night. He scored 14 points in a 60-49 loss to halfway to eclipse 1,000 career points.

For the second straight year, Grace Reichard qualified for all eight events at the Missouri State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships. Due to strict Missouri State High School Activities Association rules, Reichard was forced to choose just two of those eight events in which to compete at the 2012 state championships.

In those two events, -- the 100-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle -- she finished 10th and 11th. Though she did make it out of the preliminary heats, Reichard's preliminary times weren't in the top eight overall in either event, so she was relegated to the consolation races.

On Feb. 5, the Nevada High School Wall of Fame welcomed its newest inductee when Nevada High School athletic director Kevin McKinley led a ceremony marking the enshrinement of Lisa Pendrak. Pendrak was a standout for the Nevada Lady Tigers tennis team and a 2006 Nevada High School graduate.

While at NHS, Pendrak was 70-18 in singles and 48-15 in doubles. She holds the single-season school record of 26 wins in singles competition and 37 wins in doubles.

The Nevada Tigers wrestling team took five athletes to the 2012 MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships. Of those five, two came back with third-place medals -- Slade Stiles and Tanner Charles.

The Nevada Middle School seventh grade girls- track team had a year full of broken records. The first record fell on April 12 at the Nevada Invitational, when the girls finished the 4x100 in 53.9 seconds, beating the 26-year-old record set back in 1986.

The girls broke the old 4x200 relay record of 1:57.9 set in 2004 with a new record time of 1:56.36 in Joplin, later in the season. By season's end, members of both the boys' and girls' track teams had broken records in a total of five different events.

On May 14, the Nevada High School baseball team broke the school record for wins with a 14-4 district tournament victory over El Dorado Springs. The Tigers finished the season with an overall record of 16-9, beating the old school wins record by one.

The Nevada Lady Tigers softball team capped off what was a very successful 2012 season as they won their third straight district title before falling to Grain Valley in the Sectional contest. That district title was not only the third in as many season's for head coach Tammy Holcomb's squad, but is also just the third in program history.

Before Holcomb's arrival before the 2009 season, the Lady Tigers had not only never won a district championship, but no coach in the history of the program had won more than 15 games in a season. Holcomb's squads have beaten that win total in every season since she took over and have won three district titles and a state title along the way.

The Tigers' football team joined them in playoff competition this fall, losing in the district semifinals to end the program's best season since 1998.

To finish out the calendar year, two more local basketball players surpassed 1,000 career points. The first of those two was Hume High School senior Emily Brooks.

Brooks stepped up when Thompson graduated last year and has carried the Lady Hornets on her shoulders for most of the season. She joined the 1,000-point club on Nov. 27, in the Lady Hornets' second game of the season when she scored 26 points in a home win.

The second was on the boy's side. Patrick Hallam echoed Brooks' milestone as he eclipsed 1,000 career points in a blowout victory over the Knights of Northeast Vernon County High School on Dec. 20.

It's not hard to see that these events weren't all the year had to offer, but there's a few highlight worthy moments from a great year for the sports lover in and around Nevada. Here's to hoping 2013 will be just as much fun.



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Eric Wade
Beyond the Bench